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Racial Justice Speaker Series: Irene Oritseweyinmi Joe, Professor, UC Davis School of Law

Thursday, Nov. 19

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM


Irene Oritseweyinmi Joe, Professor, UC Davis School of Law

'When public defenders fall short'

Professor Irene Oritseweyinmi Joe will discuss the public defender’s role in addressing racial injustice and the ways in which it may fall short. She will use her own experience as a public defender to provide context to her research that: (1) examines how the institution falls short in representing its clients and (2) how the institution falls short in caring for the attorneys and support staff who aim to provide quality representation. As her scholarship summarizes, although these shortcomings cannot be laid squarely at the feet of public defenders because of state funding decisions and prosecutorial discretion, they do require some reflection from those committed to providing a quality defense to indigent clients. Joe argues that only after this reflection can the public defender institution even come close to fulfilling its obligation to provide a barrier to the racial abuse that can result from a state government's improper exercise of power on its own citizenry.


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For more information, please contact Onell Berrios at or 530-754-5335